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  1. An institution, body, office or agency established by or based on the Treaty on European Union and the Treaties establishing the European Communities.

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    A microenterprise, a small or medium-sized enterprise (business) as defined in EU Recommendation 2003/361. To qualify as an SME for EU funding, an enterprise must meet certain conditions, including (a) fewer than 250 employees and (b) an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million. These ceilings apply only to the figures for individual companies.

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  1. Governance, partnership: Projects aimed at increasing the application of multilevel and transnational or cross-border governance, designing and testing appropriate governance structures and mechanisms. Also cooperation between public institutions on any theme.

    Innovation capacity and awareness-raising: Actions that increase a person’s or organisation’s capacity for innovation (not innovation as such), and that establish the capacity to diffuse and apply innovation; projects that stimulate innovation in different areas and innovation capacities; strengthening and empowering of innovation networks.

    Institutional cooperation and cooperation networks: Projects working on the improvement of institutional cross-border co-operation and capacities, on renewing and simplifying administrative management through long term cooperation between institutions (e.g. Euregion), on establishing and sharing regional knowledge and intercultural understanding and cohesion. It also deals with cooperations between universities, health care facilities, schools and sports organisations, as well as with management and capacity building.

    Activities focussing on agricultural products, organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products; furthermore the development of the food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products and any topics related to animals and fishing.

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    Soil and air quality: Projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Climate change and biodiversity projects assisting mitigation and adaption to climate change and environmental impacts of climate change. Development of low carbon technologies and strategies, reduction of CO2 emissions from all sectors. Promotion of biodiversity, new instruments to enhance biodiversity and natural protection.

    Soil and air quality projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Water management projects about management and distribution of drinking water, integrated sustainable water management, monitoring systems for water supply and improving drinking water quality; also water treatment (wastewater), in particular, innovative technologies to improve wastewater, treatments in the purification of industrial and domestic wastewater and water reuse policies. Waterways, lakes and rivers: This deals with any topics on waterways, lakes and rivers, from improving water quality, protecting and developing of ecosystems or sustainable wetland management.

    Activities that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Cultural heritage and arts projects that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

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    Sustainable management of natural resources projects focussing on the protection, promotion and valorization, and sustainable management and conservation of natural areas (habitats, geo parks, protected areas, etc.). Also projects focussing on preserving and enhancing cultural and natural heritage and landscape, as well as protecting the marine environment.

    Projects on waste management (innovative services and strategies), ecological waste treatment, treatment techniques/systems; waste disposal and recycling (improvement of recycling, innovative recycling technologies, recovery of organic waste, repair & re-use centres and networks); also prevention of pollution and pollution control (ecological and circular economy, marine littering, etc.).

    Labour market and employment: creating employment opportunities and/or optimising jobs, academic (un)employment and job mobility, workforce attraction and improvement of employment conditions for different groups.

    SME and entrepreneurship: strengthening SME capacities, boosting entrepreneurial activities in different sectors and for different groups, supporting social entrepreneurship, creating business support/advisory systems for start-ups/spin-offs/incubators, improving the competitiveness of SMEs, and promoting new business processes.

    Community integration and common identity projects that build identity, create a more cohesive society, promote positive relations through an increased provision of shared spaces and services.

    Demographic change and immigration is about projects tackling major societal challenges like demographic change in different areas and migration, in particular, aging society (active aging, best agers, silver economy strategies) and related new public services (adaptation of key services and infrastructure), social and spatial segregation, and brain drain. Also all topics on migration (policy tools, strategic planning, integration).

    All projects where ICT has a significant role, including tailor-made ICT solutions in different fields, as well as digital innovation hubs, open data, Internet of Things; ICT access and connecting (remote) areas with digital infrastructure and services; services and applications for citizens (e-health, e-government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.); services and applications for companies (e-commerce, networking, digital transformation, etc.).

    This is about the mitigation and management of risks and disasters, and the anticipation and response capacity towards the actors regarding specific risks and management of natural disasters, for example, prevention of flood and drought hazards, forest fire, strong weather conditions, etc.. It is also about risk assessment and safety.

    Education and training projects on expanding educational opportunities, reducing barriers in the field of education, improving higher education and lifelong learning, training and labour mobility, educational networks, higher vocational education, common learning programmes.

    Topics on energy management, energy-saving methods, evaluating energy efficiency measurements, energy rehabilitation/efficiency in buildings / public infrastructure, promotion of energy efficiency, cooperation among experienced energy efficiency firms, institutions and local administrations, co-generation.

    Projects focussing on wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal and other renewable energy, increasing the production of sustainable renewable energy and improving research capacities in biomass. Also projects focussing on storage and management of renewable energy, new technologies, sustainable regional bioenergy policies and financial Instruments for investments on renewable energy.

    Social projects concerning people with disabilities and excluded groups; enhancement of the capacity of children, young people, women and elderly; creation of infrastructure to improve access for disabled people, integration of socially vulnerable people; innovate in the care of victims of gender violence, social inclusion of women, etc.

    This deals with the development of health and social services and improved accessibility and efficiency for different groups (elderly, children, etc.). It is also about new healthcare models and medical diagnosis and treatments (dementia, cancer, diabetes, etc.), hospitals, care management, and rare diseases, as well as improving wellbeing and promoting sports.

    Projects about (organised) crime, efficient and secure borders, such as enhancing the effectiveness of the police in the prevention of drug crimes, the development of safety services, or tackling security and organised crime issues.

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    • Transport and mobility covering all sorts of transport (incl. urban transport) and mobility.
    • Improving transport connections dealing with traffic and/or transport connections, rehabiliation/modernisation, better connectivity, improving accessibility/connections, but also public transport.
    • Multimodal transport and logistics and freight transport focusing on using different means of transport, developing multimodal connections, optimising intermodal transport chains; offering multimodal logistics solutions and providing access to clean, efficient and multimodal transport corridors and hubs; establishing cooperation among logistic centres and developing multimodal mobility strategies.

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    • urban development, such as planning and design of cities and urban areas, urban renewal, urban-rural links (climate, sustainable mobility, water efficiency, participation, sustainable land use, smart cities, public urban areas, regeneration)
    • regional planning and development, such as the implementation of regional development policies/instruments and programmes, sustainable land use management plans, integrated regional action plans, spatial planning, and marine protected area management.
    • rural and peripheral development, referring to remote, sparsely populated areas, rural community development, and rural economics, in particular access to remote areas and policies for rural areas.
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Call key data

Project Development Assistance for sustainable energy investments

Funding Program

LIFE - sub-programme “Clean Energy Transition”

Call number




16.11.2022 17:00

Funding rate

95 %

Call budget

€ 8,000,000.00

Estimated EU contribution per project


Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

Project Development Assistance (PDA) offers technical assistance to public and private project developers to deliver energy efficiency and renewable energy investments of ambition and scale.

Call objectives

The topic aims to support project developers across Europe to develop replicable solutions that are mobilising private capital, blending public with private financing, setting up long-term and scalable financial instruments and at the same time overcoming legal and structural barriers whilst delivering a highly ambitious sustainable energy project pipeline. Projects are expected to demonstrate an innovative approach, for example in aggregating and structuring investment projects, advancing market boundaries or changing organisational and regulatory structures.

PDA projects contribute significantly to the European Green Deal’s Renovation Wave and will help pave the way for a decarbonised and clean energy system. In the next years, PDA projects are expected also to significantly contribute to accelerating the clean energy transition, as pointed out in the REPowerEU plan to phase out EU dependence on fossil fuels imports. A range of very innovative solutions with regard to the financing and mobilisation of investments were demonstrated in past Horizon 2020 PDA projects, which helped to shift market boundaries and demonstrate practical application of inspiring solutions. For example, a forfaiting fund using private investments which is scalable across Europe has been set up to foster deep retrofitting of hard-to-treat multi-family buildings. Another example is the development of a revolving loan fund combining European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding, low interest-loans and Third Party Financing through Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to deeply refurbish hospitals in the region. Many of these projects also implemented one-stop-shops to support public authorities in the preparation of investments on public buildings, street lighting, and other public assets. The Renovation Wave strategy highlights the importance of replicating this approach across Europe in order to accelerate investments in public buildings.

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Expected effects and impacts

Proposals are expected to address only one of the two scopes below. The scope addressed should be clearly specified in the proposal's introduction.

Scope A: Project Development Assistance

Project Development Assistance (PDA) will be provided to public and private project promoters such as public authorities or their groupings, public/private infrastructure operators and bodies, energy agencies, energy service companies, retail chains, large property owners and services/industry. The action will support project promoters in building technical, economic and legal expertise needed for successful project development and implementation. Projects should lead to the launch of tangible sustainable energy investments within the project duration, and adequate proof of such investments has to be provided, e.g. signed Energy Performance Contracts (EPC) or construction contracts.

Proposals should demonstrate a clear showcase dimension in delivering replicable solutions for accelerating sustainable energy investments across Europe, as regards:

  • The development of scalable financing schemes with a particular focus on leveraging enhanced levels of private investment such as EPC, blended funds, financial instruments or innovative on-bill and on-tax payment schemes; and/or
  • The organisational innovation for the mobilisation of the investment programmes such as setting up project development units, large-scale bundling and pooling of (mixed) assets, with a geographical focus at district, city or a wider level.
  • Proposals should aim for high ambition levels of energy savings and decarbonisation, such as deep renovation, NZEB standards, positive energy buildings or districts and/or highly energy efficient infrastructure.

Proposals could target sectors including:

  • Existing residential buildings including large social housing operators.
  • Existing non-residential buildings of public or commercial owners.
  • Building-integrated renewables and other small scale renewables.
  • Existing public infrastructure such as district heating/cooling networks, water/wastewater services.
  • Clean and energy efficient urban transport infrastructure and low emission mobility solutions including conversion of urban areas for soft mobility or non-motorised transport.
  • Industry and services, including SMEs.
  • Renewable energy generation led by energy communities and other citizen led initiatives.

Proposals under scope A may be submitted by a single applicant or by applicants from a single eligible country.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of a range of EUR 0.5 million to EUR 1.5 million would allow the specific objectives to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Scope B – Community of practitioners of one-stop-shops for public assets

Proposals should support the development of an EU community for the practitioners actively involved in the local/regional implementation of one-stop-shops for the energy efficient renovation of public assets, in order to pool efforts, generate economies of scale and encourage convergence towards best practices. The target group for this community is primarily the actors involved in public asset renovation projects funded under Horizon 2020 PDA and ELENA, as well as potentially other programmes.

Building on existing initiatives, the community should support collective productions, incremental innovations and joint efforts to promote one-stop-shops, with a focus on promoting ambitious programmes delivering deep energy renovations and other relevant energy efficiency improvements in public assets, and/or involving the use of private finance e.g. through energy performance contracting or public-private partnerships. It should facilitate dialogue and insight sharing, fostering the emergence of a common culture among participants and beyond, both at national and European levels.

Particular efforts and results are expected on, but not limited to:

  • Strategic positioning: assessing the needs and identifying the different possible models to deliver support for public authorities, including possible sources of funding, link to national funding programmes, cooperation with private sector, etc.
  • Methodologies and tools: how to streamline and optimise the processes to support public asset owners, e.g. procurement processes, aggregation of buildings / building owners? Etc.
  • Skills and training needs: which skills or new professionals are needed for the implementation and effective operation of one-stop-shops? Conversely, how to motivate and secure career opportunities for skilled professionals in that field? Etc.
  • Partnerships with market actors: what types of partnerships could be developed (e.g. with the construction sector, architects and engineers, ESCOs, banks, investors)? How to secure partners' commitment to deliver quality and competitive services? How to support the development of a strong ESCO sector for energy performance contracting? Etc.

This community of practice should consolidate findings from the various experiences across Europe and propose guidance and support to emerging initiatives. It should support the development of coordinated proposals to policy makers and actively contribute to regulatory and legislative processes at national and European levels, in particular by highlighting concrete situations and difficulties faced when implementing one-stop-shops, as well as best practice solutions.

Furthermore, proposals should deliver a large-scale capacity building programme for regional / national public entities in order to support the replication and roll-out of one-stop-shops for public assets. The capacity building programme should be adapted and rolled out at national level; activities should include a training of trainers at national level and engagement with the relevant national networks to ensure a good coverage and long-term sustainability. Capacity building should target, among others, local and regional authority officials, energy agencies and consultants involved in the development of energy renovation programmes. It should include a mix of classroom training and practical mentoring.

Proposals submitted by a single applicant or proposals covering a single eligible country are not considered appropriate under scope B. The community of practice to be established must be transnational and actively involve a variety of representatives of the most relevant implementations throughout Europe, reflecting the diversity of situations and approaches across Europe. Therefore, the Commission considers relevant that consortia gather a minimum of 3 applicants from 3 different eligible countries.

The Commission intends to select one single proposal under scope B. The Commission considers that a proposal requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 million would allow the specific objectives to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting another amount.

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Expected results

Scope A:

Proposals should result in the launch of an energy efficiency and/or renewable investment programmes as well as the delivery of scalable financing solutions for sustainable energy investment projects with a particular emphasis on private sector funds, and, hence, ensure a significant leverage effect.

Every million EUR of EU support should trigger at least EUR 15 million of investments in sustainable energy in form of work or investment contracts signed. In case projects address exclusively investments in residential buildings, the triggered investments should be at least EUR 10 million for every million EUR of EU support.

Proposals should quantify their impacts using the indicators listed below, where relevant, as well as other project-specific performance indicators:

  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (cumulative, in million Euro of investments).
  • Primary energy savings/renewable energy generation triggered by the project (in GWh/year)
  • Reduction of GHG emissions triggered by the project (in t CO2eq/year).
  • Increased skills and capacity in project aggregators to deliver further sustainable energy investment (For example number of staff with increased skills, number of organisations that increased capacity to deliver investments and/or organisational structures, which are put in place.
  • Jobs created through the sustainable energy investments.
  • Where relevant, improved health-related indicators such as improved indoor air quality or physical activity.


The impacts of the proposals should be demonstrated during the project and within 5 years after the project lifetime.

The impacts of the proposals should be demonstrated during the project and within 5 years after the project lifetime.

Scope B:

Proposals should deliver a community of practitioners of one-stop-shops for public assets, which enhances the practices of existing one-stop-shops, builds large-scale capacity for public authorities to design and implement one-stop-shops, and support the evolution of legal, policy and funding frameworks to enable the roll-out of one-stop-shops.

Proposals should quantify their impacts using the indicators listed below, where relevant, as well as other project-specific performance indicators:

Number of stakeholders actively involved in the community (split by category, e.g. one-stop-shops, public authorities, consultants, architects associations, construction sector federations, financial institutions, etc.). Number of planned collective outputs (split by topics and nature). Number and nature of planned contributions to legislative and regulatory processes at local, national and European levels. Number of national capacity building programmes put in place. Number of public authorities with increased capacity to deliver one-stop-shops. Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (cumulative, in million Euro). Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year). Renewable energy generation triggered by the project (in GWh/year).

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Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)
Albania (Shqipëria), Andorra, Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Iceland (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна)

eligible entities

Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Mandatory partnership


Project Partnership

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
    • non-EU countries:
      • please see the List of Participating Countries in LIFE for an up-to-date list of countries with which the association agreements have started to produce legal effects (either through provisional application or their entry into force).
  • the coordinator must be established in an eligible country

Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).

International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.

Additional information


Administration & Governance, Institutional Capacity & Cooperation, 
Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management, 
Circular Economy, Natural Resources, 
Competitiveness of Enterprises, Employment/Labour Market, SME & entrepreneurship, 
Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy

UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)

Additional Information

Topic budget:

  • Scope A: EUR 6,000,000.00
  • Scope B: EUR 2,000,000.00

Proposal page limits and layout:

Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:

  • Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants and the summarised budget for the project
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project
  • Part C containing additional project data
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents:
    • detailed budget table
    • participant information
  • optional annexes: letters of support

Page limit - Part B: 65 pages

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